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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Four Mystery Plays
GA 14
The Guardian of the Threshold (Written 1912)

Persons, Apparitions and Events

The spiritual and psychic experiences of the characters, sketched in this series of scenic pictures called ‘The Guardian of the Threshold,’ are a continuation of those which appeared before in my life pictures called ‘The Portal of Initiation’ and ‘The Soul's Probation,’ and are supposed to take place about fifteen years later than the occurrences in ‘The Portal of Initiation.’

The three plays together form an organic whole.

In ‘The Guardian of the Threshold’ the following persons and beings appear:

    1. Benedictus, Leader of the Temple of the Sun and the teacher of a number of people who appear in ‘The Guardian of the Threshold.’
    2. Hilary True-to-God, Grand Master of the Mystic League, represented in a former incarnation in ‘The Soul's Probation’ as the Grand Master of a Mystic Brotherhood.
    3. Johannes Thomasius, a pupil of Benedictus, some-times called Johannes and sometimes Thomasius.

    1. Magnus Bellicosus, Preceptor of the Mystic League, known as Germanus in ‘The Portal of Initiation.’
    2. Albertus Torquatus, Master of the Ceremonies in the Mystic League, known as Theodosius in ‘The Portal of Initiation.’
    3. Professor Capesius.

    1. Frederick Trustworthy, Master of the Ceremonies in the Mystic League. The Reincarnation of the Second Master of the Ceremonies of the Spirit-Brotherhood in ‘The Soul's Probation’, and known as ‘Romanus’ in ‘The Portal of Initiation.’
    2. Theodora, a Seeress, in whom the Element of Will is changed into a simple gift of prophecy.
    3. Doctor Strader.

    1. Maria, a pupil of Benedictus.
    2. Felix Balde.
    3. Dame Felicia, his wife.




    The Double of Thomasius.
    The Soul of Theodora.
    The Guardian of the Threshold.

  7. Philia, Astrid, & Luna, the spiritual beings through whose agency the human soul forces are connected with the Cosmos.

    The Other Philia, the spiritual being who hinders the union of the soul-powers with the Cosmos.

    The Voice of Conscience.

    These spiritual beings are not intended to be allegorical or symbolic, but realities, who to spiritual perception are exactly like physical persons.

    The following persons are the reincarnations of the twelve peasants in ‘The Soul's Probation’:

    1. Ferdinand Fox.
    2. Michael Nobleman.
    3. Bernard Straight.
    4. Francesca Humble.
    5. Mary Steadfast.
    6. Louisa Fear-God.
    7. Frederick Clear-Mind.
    8. Casper Hotspur.
    9. George Candid.
    10. Mary Dauntless.
    11. Erminia Stay-at-Home.
    12. Katharine Counsel.

    In ‘The Guardian of the Threshold’ the nature of the reincarnation is not to be regarded as a law holding good generally, but as something which can only happen at a turning-point of time. Hence, for example, the incidents of Scene 8 between Strader and the twelve others are only possible at such a period. The spiritual entities taking part in this play are by no means to be considered as merely allegory or symbol. For any one who recognizes the spiritual world as reality, the beings there exist, just as much as physical men in the sense-world, and as such they may be portrayed. Spiritual beings do not have human form, as they are bound to have upon the stage. If the writer of these psychic incidents in pictures considered these beings to be allegories, he would not have represented them in the way he has done.

    The systematic arrangement of the characters into groups (3 x 4) is not intentional or in the original plan of the play; it is a result—by way of afterthought—of the incidents, which are sketched out quite independently, and fall naturally into such a division. It would never have occurred to the author to include it in the original plan; but it may be permitted to cite it here as a result.

    The scheme of stage decoration is in accordance with the planetary signs shown in Dr. Steiner's Occult Seals and Symbols. In Scene 2, the walls and furniture, etc., are decorated with Dr. Steiner's architectural design for Jupiter. Scene 4 is devoted to Venus. And Dr. Steiner's symbols for the Sun govern the little wooden hut and all its appurtenances in Scene 5. To the other scenes no architectural design is applicable.

    The costumes are as follows:

    Except when officiating as Hierophant Benedictus is in black frockcoat and trousers; Hilary, Bellicosus, Torquatus, and Trustworthy are in dark frockcoats, etc., except when acting as officers in the Temple or as leaders in the Mystic League. Johannes is in a dark blue velveteen suit, short coat, breeches, and stockings. Capesius, when he is in the soul, e.g., in scenes 3 and 6, appears quite young, beardless, and in flimsy blue and white robes; at other times in ordinary modern attire.

    Theodora, modern with a coloured stole. Strader, modern, short brown jacket; except in Scene 4, where he is in grey lavender.

    Maria, modern with stole.

    Felix Balde, a blue tunic trimmed with fur.

    Felicia Balde, modern with stole.

    Lucifer, flowing crimson and gold robes, long golden hair, and crowned when on his throne.

    Ahriman in yellow robes.

    The Guardian of the Threshold, conventional angel with a flaming sword.

    Philia, Astrid, Luna, and the Other Philia, flowing muslin robes of many colours, but Astrid is in white.

    The reincarnated male peasants are in frockcoats of very brilliant colour, crimson, chocolate, blue, etc. The trousers, coat and waistcoat are always to match. The women are in modern costumes with stoles; F. Humble in lilac; M. Steadfast in blue; M. Dauntless in green; E. Stay-at-Home in light and dark cherry; K. Counsel in cerise; L. Fear-God in brown; Fox has red hair, and a red-brown suit.

    See also the notes on the costumes in the two preceding plays. The brethren of the Mystic League are clad as follows: blue robe long and full, blue belt, a short blue mantle thrown over the back and attached to the front by broad bands of a lighter blue. These bands meet on the breast in a large circular blue band of the same shade, within which are three circular red seals, the one surmounting the other two, and upon each of these there is a black pentagram. The cap is blue, about three inches high, flat at the top, and has six sides.